There must be 50 ways to thank your donors

  1. Write them a letter, Eddie Vetter.
  2. Send them a birthday card, Renard.
  3. Remember them on important holidays, Rutherford B Hayes.
  4. Acknowledge their support on important dates like their first gift’s anniversary, Mercy.
  5. Thank them with a prerecorded outbound voice message, Fezzig. (If you can’t tell already, not all of these rhymes are going to be winners…)
  6. Try that prerecorded outbound voice message to see if it will increase fulfillment rates among your telemarketing pledgers, Medgar Evers.
  7. Handwrite them a note, billy goat.
  8. Send them a copy of your annual report with a kind note and their name circled, Erkel.
  9. Make a personal call, Saul.
  10. Ask them to volunteer, dear. (Yes, really, some of your donors may want to become more involved in your organization)
  11. Thank them in person, Orson.
  12. Have a special area/table/zone for them at your next event, Clark Kent.
  13. Send them a member card, Jean-Luc Picard.
  14. Invite them to special briefings that are only for a member, December.
  15. Create a specialized donor thank you newsletter, Irish setter.
  16. Send them a copy of a book written by one of your in-house experts, Howard Kurtz.
  17. Create a year-end statement of their giving and the impact it has made, Sade.
  18. Use a survey to get their thoughts, Don Knotts.
  19. Ask your ED or another luminary to write a card in blue ink, then to make it look handwritten in bulk on a budget, run copies of it on the color printer, Harold Pinter.
  20. Conduct donor telephone calls in a town hall style, Kyle.
  21. Write quality stories, Jason Vorhees.
  22. Make high-quality and personalized online after-action pages and automated emails, Outlaw Josey Wales.
  23. Send them a staff white paper, Don Draper.
  24. Create a personalized support statement in infographic form, Norm. (NORM! How’s it going out there, Norm? It’s a dog eat dog world and I’m wearing Milkbone underwear (laughter from studio audience))
  25. Have excellent donor service, Neal Purvis (screenwriter on six James Bond movies. If you already knew that, you might be interested in one of my books here).
  26. Write them memos about the impact they’ve made and what is left to be done, hon.
  27. Send them pictures about the impact they are making and not of someone handing someone else a giant check, Beck.
  28. Welcome them strategically with a cross-channel series, Aries.
  29. Invite them to share their personal story, Rory (aka Mr. Amy Pond).
  30. Ask for why they give and personalize your thanks to what meaning to them, Clem.
  31. DM them on Twitter, Senator Vitter.
  32. Send them a letter that is written by someone whose life they’ve changed, Danny Ainge.
  33. Wish that the song was about 30 ways to leave your lover, Crispin Glover.
  34. Shoot a thank you video, Hideo.
  35. Throw a donor and volunteer appreciation party, Aarti (Sequeira of Food Network fame, of course).
  36. Ask them to vote on issues where you can live with any of the selections like member card design, Robert Irvine.
  37. Have a donor appreciation wall at your headquarter, Michael Porter.
  38. Message them on Facebook, Captain Hook.
  39. Make it easy for them to tell others about their support, Queen Consort.
  40. Honor and make sure they know you honor their particular and individual connection to your cause, Santa Claus.
  41. Have a phone bank thankathon from your employees and volunteers, Mouseketeers.
  42. Talk to them about the meaning they are giving to people’s lives, Douglas Adams.
  43. Call them for their opinion, Virginian.
  44. Send them an impact-focused news clipping, Rudyard Kipling. (Do you like Kipling? I don’t know; I’ve never kippled.)
  45. Invite them to hear, online or in-person, a guest speaker, Bunson and Beaker.
  46. Thank them with a celebrity if you have one connected to your nonprofit, Stephen Moffit (again, if you know who this is, one of my books might be up your alley).
  47. Reach out on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and/or Grandparent’s Day, depending on their gender and age, Larry Page.
  48. Send a February 14th valentine to the donors you love, turtle dove.
  49. Allow virtual access to whatever form of annual meeting you have, be it a conference, jamboree, or lobby day, Auntie May.
  50. Above all, write from, and to, the heart, Bart.
There must be 50 ways to thank your donors

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